Nanobodies could help CRISPR turn genes on and off

The genetic tool CRISPR has been likened to molecular scissors for its ability to snip out and replace genetic code within DNA. But CRISPR has a capability that could make it useful beyond genetic repairs. "CRISPR can precisely ...

New-found molecular signature keeps key genes ready for action

During development, scores of molecular signals prod cells to take on specialized identities and functions. In response to some of these signals, the cellular machinery awakens specific genes called 'immediate early genes' ...

Scientists identify how harmless gut bacteria 'turn bad'

An international team of scientists has determined how harmless E. coli gut bacteria in chickens can easily pick up the genes required to evolve to cause a life-threatening infection. Their study, published in Nature Communications, ...

Thinking afresh about how cells respond to stress

Just like people, cells get stressed too. A sudden drop in oxygen, overheating, or toxins can trigger a cascade of molecular changes that lead cells to stop growing, produce stress-protective factors, and form stress granules—proteins ...

New compact model for gene regulation in higher organisms

Although the DNA and its double-helix are one of the most familiar molecules of our time, our knowledge of how cells control what genes they want to express is still rather limited. In order to create, for example, an enzyme, ...

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